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Terminal string styling done right


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Package description

What is chalk?

The chalk npm package is a popular library for styling and coloring text in the terminal. It provides an easy-to-use API for applying various text styles, such as color, background color, bold, underline, and more, to console output in Node.js applications.

What are chalk's main functionalities?

Text color

Change the color of the text. In this example, the text 'Hello world!' will be printed in blue.

console.log('Hello world!'));

Background color

Change the background color of the text. Here, 'Hello world!' will have a red background.

console.log(chalk.bgRed('Hello world!'));

Text styles

Apply text styles such as bold, italic, underline, etc. This code sample makes the text 'Hello world!' bold.

console.log(chalk.bold('Hello world!'));

Combining styles

Combine multiple styles together. The text 'Hello world!' will be bold with blue text and a red background.

console.log('Hello world!'));

Composing multiple styles

Create reusable composed style functions. This creates an 'error' style that is bold and red, which can be used to print error messages.

const error =; console.log(error('Error!'));

Template literals

Use tagged template literals for styling. This allows for more readable code when applying multiple styles.

console.log(chalk`{blue.bold Hello} {red world!}`);

Other packages similar to chalk




Terminal string styling done right

Coverage Status npm dependents Downloads run on


  • Expressive API
  • Highly performant
  • No dependencies
  • Ability to nest styles
  • 256/Truecolor color support
  • Auto-detects color support
  • Doesn't extend String.prototype
  • Clean and focused
  • Actively maintained
  • Used by ~86,000 packages as of October 4, 2022


npm install chalk

IMPORTANT: Chalk 5 is ESM. If you want to use Chalk with TypeScript or a build tool, you will probably want to use Chalk 4 for now. Read more.


import chalk from 'chalk';

console.log('Hello world!'));

Chalk comes with an easy to use composable API where you just chain and nest the styles you want.

import chalk from 'chalk';

const log = console.log;

// Combine styled and normal strings
log('Hello') + ' World' +'!'));

// Compose multiple styles using the chainable API
log('Hello world!'));

// Pass in multiple arguments
log('Hello', 'World!', 'Foo', 'bar', 'biz', 'baz'));

// Nest styles
log('Hello', chalk.underline.bgBlue('world') + '!'));

// Nest styles of the same type even (color, underline, background)
	'I am a green line ' +'with a blue substring') +
	' that becomes green again!'

// ES2015 template literal
CPU: ${'90%')}
RAM: ${'40%')}
DISK: ${chalk.yellow('70%')}

// Use RGB colors in terminal emulators that support it.
log(chalk.rgb(123, 45, 67).underline('Underlined reddish color'));
log(chalk.hex('#DEADED').bold('Bold gray!'));

Easily define your own themes:

import chalk from 'chalk';

const error =;
const warning = chalk.hex('#FFA500'); // Orange color


Take advantage of console.log string substitution:

import chalk from 'chalk';

const name = 'Sindre';
console.log('Hello %s'), name);
//=> 'Hello Sindre'


chalk.<style>[.<style>...](string, [string...])

Example:'Hello', 'world');

Chain styles and call the last one as a method with a string argument. Order doesn't matter, and later styles take precedent in case of a conflict. This simply means that is equivalent to

Multiple arguments will be separated by space.


Specifies the level of color support.

Color support is automatically detected, but you can override it by setting the level property. You should however only do this in your own code as it applies globally to all Chalk consumers.

If you need to change this in a reusable module, create a new instance:

import {Chalk} from 'chalk';

const customChalk = new Chalk({level: 0});
0All colors disabled
1Basic color support (16 colors)
2256 color support
3Truecolor support (16 million colors)


Detect whether the terminal supports color. Used internally and handled for you, but exposed for convenience.

Can be overridden by the user with the flags --color and --no-color. For situations where using --color is not possible, use the environment variable FORCE_COLOR=1 (level 1), FORCE_COLOR=2 (level 2), or FORCE_COLOR=3 (level 3) to forcefully enable color, or FORCE_COLOR=0 to forcefully disable. The use of FORCE_COLOR overrides all other color support checks.

Explicit 256/Truecolor mode can be enabled using the --color=256 and --color=16m flags, respectively.

chalkStderr and supportsColorStderr

chalkStderr contains a separate instance configured with color support detected for stderr stream instead of stdout. Override rules from supportsColor apply to this too. supportsColorStderr is exposed for convenience.

modifierNames, foregroundColorNames, backgroundColorNames, and colorNames

All supported style strings are exposed as an array of strings for convenience. colorNames is the combination of foregroundColorNames and backgroundColorNames.

This can be useful if you wrap Chalk and need to validate input:

import {modifierNames, foregroundColorNames} from 'chalk';

//=> true

//=> false



  • reset - Reset the current style.
  • bold - Make the text bold.
  • dim - Make the text have lower opacity.
  • italic - Make the text italic. (Not widely supported)
  • underline - Put a horizontal line below the text. (Not widely supported)
  • overline - Put a horizontal line above the text. (Not widely supported)
  • inverse- Invert background and foreground colors.
  • hidden - Print the text but make it invisible.
  • strikethrough - Puts a horizontal line through the center of the text. (Not widely supported)
  • visible- Print the text only when Chalk has a color level above zero. Can be useful for things that are purely cosmetic.


  • black
  • red
  • green
  • yellow
  • blue
  • magenta
  • cyan
  • white
  • blackBright (alias: gray, grey)
  • redBright
  • greenBright
  • yellowBright
  • blueBright
  • magentaBright
  • cyanBright
  • whiteBright

Background colors

  • bgBlack
  • bgRed
  • bgGreen
  • bgYellow
  • bgBlue
  • bgMagenta
  • bgCyan
  • bgWhite
  • bgBlackBright (alias: bgGray, bgGrey)
  • bgRedBright
  • bgGreenBright
  • bgYellowBright
  • bgBlueBright
  • bgMagentaBright
  • bgCyanBright
  • bgWhiteBright

256 and Truecolor color support

Chalk supports 256 colors and Truecolor (16 million colors) on supported terminal apps.

Colors are downsampled from 16 million RGB values to an ANSI color format that is supported by the terminal emulator (or by specifying {level: n} as a Chalk option). For example, Chalk configured to run at level 1 (basic color support) will downsample an RGB value of #FF0000 (red) to 31 (ANSI escape for red).


  • chalk.hex('#DEADED').underline('Hello, world!')
  • chalk.rgb(15, 100, 204).inverse('Hello!')

Background versions of these models are prefixed with bg and the first level of the module capitalized (e.g. hex for foreground colors and bgHex for background colors).

  • chalk.bgHex('#DEADED').underline('Hello, world!')
  • chalk.bgRgb(15, 100, 204).inverse('Hello!')

The following color models can be used:

  • rgb - Example: chalk.rgb(255, 136, 0).bold('Orange!')
  • hex - Example: chalk.hex('#FF8800').bold('Orange!')
  • ansi256 - Example: chalk.bgAnsi256(194)('Honeydew, more or less')

Browser support

Since Chrome 69, ANSI escape codes are natively supported in the developer console.


If you're on Windows, do yourself a favor and use Windows Terminal instead of cmd.exe.

Origin story

colors.js used to be the most popular string styling module, but it has serious deficiencies like extending String.prototype which causes all kinds of problems and the package is unmaintained. Although there are other packages, they either do too much or not enough. Chalk is a clean and focused alternative.




Last updated on 29 Jun 2023

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Socket installs a GitHub app to automatically flag issues on every pull request and report the health of your dependencies. Find out what is inside your node modules and prevent malicious activity before you update the dependencies.


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